You wake up the morning of your big adventure to a congested nose, a scratchy throat, and watery eyes. As you sniffle your way over to your bathroom mirror, you realize you look just like death would if Death had a face. Not only are you mad that you’re sick, but you’ve got to be on a plane in less than 3 hours, so what do you do? JustFly reviews all the steps you need to take to combat a cold while on your trip.
First things first, JustFly says you need to assess your symptoms. If you’re vomiting or feel nauseous, then we hate to break it to you, but no gate agent in the world is going to let you get on a plane. Gate agents and pilots have the right to refuse boarding to anyone they feel may pose a health risk to others on board, so call your airline and see if you can either delay your trip, or ask for a refund (because you planned ahead and got insurance, right?). After assessing your symptoms, you realize you’re fever-free and subject to just a nasty head cold.
As you load up on all the traditional natural remedies you can find in your house (gargling salt and warm water, drinking ginger and honey tea, taking some oregano oil for your throat), you realize that your sinuses are still very much congested. For those who’ve never flown with sinus issues, this is problematic: when the cabin pressure changes on the plane, having congested sinuses causes an incredible amount of pressure to build up in your sinus cavity, than if left unrelieved that can potentially lead to hearing loss (or a popped eardrum), and at a minimum guarantees a lot of pain.
If you do decide to fly out, be conscientious to the fact that you’re carrying germs onto a small, enclosed area that recycles air. Bringing a medical mask with you onboard is the polite thing to do, and makes sure your germs are contained to yourself. Bring hand sanitizer (and lotion!), tissues, and lozenges to keep your cold symptoms at bay.
With that being said, managing your sinuses now becomes your number one priority. Most people who suffer from blocked ears know how to relieve the pressure by holding their nose and mouth shut, and trying to blow the air out of their lungs until they hear the satisfying “pop” sound of their ears. This method is called the Valsalva method and is particular handy while on a plane. But if this doesn’t work for you, or causes more pain than relief, then placing EarPlanes in your ears prior to take off is a great way to help alleviate the pressure building up in your ear.
EarPlanes are a pressure-relieving earplug made from silicone with a small ceramic plug that acts as a pressure gage. Be sure to place the plugs in your ear prior to the flight attendants close the doors and plane begins to pressurize. The ceramic piece gradually moves to adjust to the pressure buildup on the plane, allowing for your congested sinuses to catch up, and upon descent will prohibit any possibility of your eardrum bursting.